News for Colorado Schools

Brighton School District 27J In Violation For Eight Years Of State Law Safeguarding Students

An examination of Brighton School District 27J Board policy by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Colorado (CCHR) found that until today, the superintendent’s policy did not contain language prohibiting school personnel from recommending or requiring psychiatric drugs for any student, a policy that has been required by state law since 2003.
This means that for the past eight years, some 15,000 children in the district have not been protected by district policy from teachers, principals and other school personnel pressuring parents to put their children on behavioral drugs, especially ADHD drugs, which may endanger their health and mask the real problems students are experiencing in the classroom.
C.R.S. 22-32-109(1)(ee) requires school district Boards of Education to adopt policy “to prohibit school personnel from recommending or requiring the use of a psychotropic drug for any student.” The law further requires policy that “School personnel shall not test or require a test for a child’s behavior without prior written permission from the parents or guardians or the child and prior written disclosure as to the disposition of the results or the testing therefrom.”
One in nine boys between the ages of 6 and 14 in the U.S. is already being treated with ADD/ADHD drugs (methylpenidate). These drugs are amphetamines, which are highly addictive, which lab rats cannot distinguish from cocaine, and which a government study found greatly increase the risk that children taking them will end up on street drugs – especially cocaine. The last thing we need is schools pressuring parents to pressure their doctors to put even more of our kids on these drugs.
In 2006 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began to require ADD/ADHD drugs to carry the FDA’s strongest, “black-box” warning that the drugs can cause heart attacks, strokes and sudden death. Cardiologist Steven Nissen, on the FDA advisory panel that recommended this warning, explained the urgency of the warning: “This is out-of-control use of drugs that have profound cardiovascular consequences. We have got a potential public health crisis. I think patients and families need to be made aware of these concerns.”
Drugging may make children easier to control, but it comes at the cost of putting children’s health at tremendous risk. It also does not address the real problem the child is experiencing, which may be a lack of additional instructional help, poor nutrition, or an undiagnosed physical condition.
CCHR Colorado brought the policy omission to the attention of Brighton 27J officials early today. District chief legal officer Janet Wyatt reported that district Board policy was revised later in the day to bring it into compliance with state law.
The Brighton Standard Blade covered this story, which is available online to subscribers.


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